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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

An Oldie

This is an edited rerun from 2009.  As I perused old blog posts to generate ideas for this week, I found this unseen piece.  Not only is Central Cemetery still one of my favorite places to walk, but a fictional version of the St. John plays an important role in the novel I am currently querying.  The pictures are a more recent addition.

Dead Calm

Today I toured the cemetery. Before you grimace and assume I attended a funeral or was in the throws of a depression, let me explain that the place is situated near the library where I park the car to take my daily constitutional.  It has the added advantage of sitting on a promontory overlooking Little Harbor, and its "residents" hold one of the most expansive views in town.  While lacing up my sneakers, I decided today’s walk should include a detour there.

The area I explored is one of our community's oldest resting places. Weathered slate markers dating as far back as the 1700’s lean high above the granite ledges that seem to grow and shrink in the tidal flats pooling below. Central Cemetery is carved out of grass tiers that step up from each other.  A stone Celtic cross towers at the top, erected in memory of immigrants from the Irish brig St. John that foundered on ledge while carrying these pilgrims to a better life. Far below the cross, flattened marsh hay etches the shoreline along with greening buds and tangled strands of sea heather. The sun heated the small gravestones edging the beach this morning.  Purple crocuses bloomed in bunches below veterans flags that lifted up on a hanging breeze. Today, the sea beyond the harbor slept steel flat and cold and gusts blew damp, but a whisper of spring erased the sting. Pebbles from the stone walk crunched as I wandered toward the road. On my way back to the library I swung my arms and eyeballed the forsythia preparing to burst in front of an antique cape along the way.

You may take issue with me strolling among the peaceful dead but to tell the truth, I began my walk low key in mood. The hike among them though--well, more than anything, it brought me back to life.


15 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That would be a beautiful resting place.

Joanne said...

nice post from the past. It would be a calm and reflective walk.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I love walking through old cemeteries. Reading the tombstones is sometimes impossible, but being there is often a history lesson.

Delores said...

We drive through the cemetery here quite often...we used to walk but that's been ruled out by my hip so we drive..slowly...it's a lovely place.

Daisy said...

This is lovely. I used to walk through a cemetery next to the university when I was in college. It was peaceful there and gave me a place to think and have some quiet time.

Robin said...

Sometimes it takes the reminder of death (waiting for all of us... eventually) to really live. So, I think feeling more alive after your walk... a very normal response.

glnroz said...

timeless piece and place...relaxing in a way, ain't it?

Leandra Wallace said...

Wow, it's beautiful! I love visiting graveyards, so peaceful and the history always makes you wonder about the past lives all around you.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I used to live with my backyard up against the an old cemetery. I often walked through it. Mostly it was sad but it was peaceful.

Empty Nest Insider said...

This cemetery looks like a perfect setting for your novel. Sounds intriguing. Something tells me it's not a lighthearted rom-com! Lovely photos too!

Julie

Karen Jones Gowen said...

A cemetery can be such a peaceful place. Glad it energized you!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Cemeteries are usually peaceful and beautiful places to visit. I'm glad you were energized. I love to read the headstones and see the stories of people's lives in short form that leaves me free to imagine.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

When I was a young girl, my parents used to drag me on walks to and through cemeteries fairly often, and I wasn't a fan. It isn't like they threatened to leave me there, or anything, and I wasn't frightened. I just hated the thought of walking across someone's grave. It seemed so disrespectful. And sad.

I still don't like to visit cemeteries, but it doesn't bother me as much. I still won't stand on top of the graves, though.

Good luck with your queries!

Caryn Caldwell said...

This is so beautiful! And I love how, in its own way, the cemetery brought you life.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I absolutely love old cemeteries and walk through if I've got the time. I find them peaceful and fascinating when one stops to read inscriptions and ponder lives lived long ago.
To me, they honor life. Thanks for sharing the stroll through this one.